National Museum of Scotland

(September 18th 2017)

I recently visited the National Museum of Scotland to find pieces of art and design that inspire me.

‘The Track of the Flying Scotsman’ Henry George Gawthorn

The first piece that caught my eye was a travel poster showing the famous Forth Rail Bridge being viewed from North Queensferry. There are many different elements in this poster that collectively add visual impact. One reason to why the poster really stood out to me due to the vector type style that it has adopted. The style allows the poster to have this modern look. I could imagine seeing this being created in the current year, however it was made in 1928. I felt the composition of the poster was very effective due to the way it is divided up. The design follows the rule of thirds in the layout. The bottom third shows people looking up at the bridge as well as houses. The illustrated people in this poster help to add character to the piece. The clothing of the people in the poster also help to give the audience an insight on the time that this poster was made. The bottom third of the poster appears to be a lot darker with use of more intense shadows. This, to me, created more impact due to the high contrast between the black and brown shades and the lighter tones used for the water and the hills. Although the image is quite flat, the different shades of colours allow the image to have depth, which really drew me into the poster.

‘Maze’ Alison Kinnaird

This second piece instantly stood out to me due to me as the vibrant vibrant circles emerged from the dark corner of the museum, I saw it from the other side of the room and was intrigued by the abstract artwork I could see. As I got closer I noticed that the artwork was made from glass which added to the glowing effect created by the LED. The glass also allowed you to see more detail of the brush strokes which adds an organic feel to the artwork. The circles frame the body however depth is created as they overlap and go through each other. The brush strokes highlight the muscles on the body. I felt this was effective as it added a hint realism to the design. The use of materials and how this piece was created was really inspiring. The maze is used to represent how people try to find a path in life, which I feel was shown through the way the body twists and turns around the maze. The circles gradually begin to form and look more like of a maze in each picture, which I think adds impact to to piece ans highlights the journey. The circles were also shown to show decay and regeneration, which I feel shows through the circle from losing its form. There is also small hints of gold thread which is used in legend to escape from a maze. This signifies the line of life. Although this detail of message may have been recognisable a first glace, each detail is more intriguing and drew me in to the artwork.

‘Bloody Empire Wallpaper’ Timorous Beasties

This wallpaper was hidden behind furniture in the deign section of the museum, however it still managed to make an impression and stand out. The slight shimmer of the gold splatters of paint caught my attention as I walked past the exhibit. This design is very powerful due to the different styles pieced together. The background appeared to be quite traditional to me with the use of pale colours and the style of the repeated pattern. The illustrated bee stood out due to the bright mustard colour. But what really intrigued me about this textile wallpaper was the splatters of paint dripping down the pattern. The paint was added by hand creating a unique element to the piece. The paint almost looks like graffiti, like the wall paper has been vandalised, however it still looks like it belongs as you step back and view the wallpaper as a whole. The flowers and leaves that were illustrated in red is brought out by the splatters. It really drew my eye towards the bee and created the central focus.

Blouse and Headscarf Bianca Mosca

While walking around the fashion section of the museum I came across this piece. The piece really stood out among the other pieces due to the very graphic print. The print shows posters pasted on to a brick wall. If you looks closely and read the designs they all show slogans that relate to war. The sketched style has a strong impact on the design as well as the vibrant colours that have been used for the posters. Some shadows have been added underneath the posters to create an illusion of depth. There is also evidence of the paper folding and curling which in my opinion adds character to the garment. The busy design and graphic look adds a slight modern style to the blouse as I can imagine this print being created in recent times.


The final piece I chose was this advertisement, also found in the fashion section of the museum. This was shown in front of Edwardian dresses. I liked the illustrative and handmade feel you get from this advertisement as it feels thoughtful. This is something that is rare to see in modern day promotions. Although the layout may seem to be a bit unorganised, the surrounding boarder makes the poster seem orderly. I really like the style of fashion illustration used.